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Chapter 7 Lecture Notes Part 2

Chapter 7 Lecture Notes Part 2 - Chapter 7 Part 2 1 Chapter...

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Chapter 7 Part 2 Chapter 7, U.S. v. Virginia Military Institute Part 2 Lecture Notes Let’s consider another U.S. Supreme Court case to drive home the point of Chapter 7’s lesson: Behavioral and social knowledge can aid in the resolution of factual disputes relating to the constitutionality of a law Facts in Ballew v. Georgia Ballew was convicted in GA of distributing obscene materials Instead of having a jury of 6 to 12 people, Ballew’s jury consisted of 5 people Ballew claims that a trial before such a small jury is unconstitutional Ballew appealed to the Georgia Court of Appeals, but it affirmed the trial court’s decision Ballew then appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court, but it refused to consider his case Finally, he appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court Legal Issue Ballew claimed that using a 5 person jury in a state criminal trial deprived him of his constitutional right to an impartial jury trial 6th Amendment reads: "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to … an impartial jury …" 14th Amendment makes the 6th Amendment's provision applicable to the states in non-petty criminal cases Non-petty means that the crime carries a penalty of at least 6 months imprisonment The purpose of a jury trial is to prevent government oppression by having community participation in the trial The jury provides the common sense of the community Providing an accused with the right to be tried by an impartial jury gives him/her a critical safeguard against a: Corrupt or overzealous prosecutor Compliant, biased, or eccentric judge U.S. Supreme Court in
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